Jun 27, 2011

Vice: A MailChimp Customer Story

We’ve been sending Josh, our video guy, around the world to do these mini-documentaries on MailChimp customers (here’s his explanation). The most recent story is for Vice UK. At first, I thought Vice was just another edgy, NSFW website (which I likey). Turns out it’s this huge CNN-like media company. They’re a record label, a magazine, a music venue, a creative agency, and an online network. They’ve got people in 30 countries, and serve clients like Intel. And they’re growing. Fast.

The interview is pretty hilarious, but it’s actually an awesome business story (especially for creatives and designful companies). How do you grow fast, scale without imploding, stay creative, make money without selling out, and generally not piss off too many people? You work your butt off, embrace chaos, and never get complacent.

Some of my favorite quotes from Andy Capper, their global editor:

Starting around 2:55 -"Feels like a constant state of experimentation…everything changes every 2 seconds…that’s how it’s always felt…sometimes you get kids who work for us — they can’t take the fact that it’s always changing…and all of a sudden there’s a big panic…it’s fun…I think the reason for our success has been that we do work all the time, almost 7 days a week. Even when we’re not working, we’re kind of working…and that’s the only way you can make any business like this succeed these days…I usually talk too fast for Americans…

4:33 – Our opinion has always been to run away from whenever there’s a gang of people forming around you, like a movement, I think it’s good to run away from that..as much as possible…otherwise you get pinned in a corner.

7:31 – It’s fun…it’s just good to get around more and like feeling of world domination, but in a cute way. We’re trying to appear to the world like we’re a respectable company.

Here’s the full interview: Vice UK: Go Big Or Go Home



  • "The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues." – Elizabeth Taylor (wikiquote)